2:14 PM EST
Pete Stark, D-CA 13th

Mr. STARK. This bill is necessary to allow the government to keep operating past the new year so that we can adjourn for the year. The Treasury Department has told us we will reach our current limit on the national debt on December 31--Happy New Year. Unlike past years, the Treasury Department has informed us they don't have the ability to maneuver and buy more time, so the United States would begin to default on its debt if we do not act.

The bill would raise the debt limit by $290 billion, enough to last through February 11. Unfortunately, we will have to revisit this issue early next year. I wish we could have avoided that, but to do so, we would have had to resolve differences with the Senate over a budget commission and a statutory PAYGO. With the Senate preoccupied on other matters, that would be impossible before the holidays. Even if the Senate were to pass the larger debt limit increase we sent over to them, we would still

have to act again next year.

It's important that we do this, as I said, to keep the government running. I don't like to raise the debt limit, but I do like being in the majority, and I do like seeing us pay our bills because we have an international obligation to many of our creditors.

I reserve the balance of my time.